The Chancel

Here is situated the High Altar where the Eucharist is celebrated on Sundays and greater festivals.

To mark the particular significance of the sanctuary as the earthly meeting point between God and man a lamp burns perpetually here in its ruby glass. This lamp serves also as the Parish Church’s memorial to the men of Matlock who gave their lives in the Second World War. Their names are inscribed in a book in a window recess on the south side of the chancel. Advent Hunstone of Tideswell carved the clergy and choir stalls in oak to a design by W.N. Statham.

The Rector’s stall on the south side has a figure of the Good Shepherd. A figure of St Giles appears on the corresponding stall on the north side. All this chancel woodwork was dedicated in 1908. Five years later, the same designer and craftsman added the present pulpit with the panelling and canopy work at the lectern.

In 1969 the sanctuary was much improved by the removal of dark oak panelling, the riddel posts and curtains around the altar, the cleaning of the stonework and a redecoration scheme, the aim of which was to restore a simple dignity and beauty to the area where attention is concentrated at the Church principal act of worship. Until the 1980s there were two seventeenth century chairs set against the north wall of the sanctuary. These having been stolen, two walnut chairs in the Art Nouveau style stand in their place. The kneelers at the altar rail designed by the Revd L.N. Childs, were made in 1970 by a group of seven people associated with the church, with the help of and under the direction of the designer. The theme of the design, which is the creation of the world, is peculiarly appropriate at this point since, when the communicant kneels to receive the Blessed Sacrament, God mediates his living presence, in answer to faith, in and through the created Elements.